ECQ, safeguard duties lead to 21.1% auto sales dip in Mar.

CAMPI President Atty. Rommel Gutierrez

THE PROVISIONAL safeguard duty and the imposition of a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) across the contiguous so-called NCR Plus territory eventually led to an unsurprising decline in vehicle sales in the month of March.

The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association, Inc. (TMA) revealed in a joint report that its member companies registered a free-fall of 21.1% in total sales for the month with 20,702 units — versus 26,230 units moved in February.

In a press statement CAMPI President Atty. Rommel Gutierrez said, “The auto industry felt the slowdown in sales due to the reluctance of buyers with the additional deposit for some imported vehicles because of the provisional safeguard duty. The lockdown also forced dealers to close operations that badly hit the already struggling auto industry.”

Versus March last year, the figure is still 87.8% higher — although it must be mentioned that the lockdown imposed around that time resulted in member companies yielding a consolidated total of only 11,029 units.

With sales shrinking 29.6% from 13,074 to 9,201 units, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. still led all companies, cornering 44.44% of the market. In second place is Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (accounting for 15.45% of units sold) even as month-on-month sales also fell by 36.9% — from 5,072 to 3,198). In third is Ford with 1,705 units (down by 3.6% from 1,769). Completing the top five are Suzuki Philippines, Inc. with 1,626 (up by 7.5% from 1,513), and Nissan Philippines, Inc. with 1,558 units in sales (up by 18.1% from 1,319).

CAMPI/TMA Q1 sales reached 70,312 units, growing by 8.9% versus the 64,542 total during the same period in 2020. — Kap Maceda Aguila